Philip Pilkington interviews Sheila Dow. It goes right to the heart of the basic issues in terms of choice of methods and the assumptions this choice rests upon.
On Economic Methodology: An Interview with Sheila Dow
Sheila Dow | Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Stirling, Scotland, and Convener of the Scottish Centre for Economic Methodology
However, I disagree with Blair's view about gates and fences.
The term ‘structured pluralism’ is intended to signal a difference from a pure form of pluralism; this pure form is the ‘anything goes’ position. At the level of methodological pluralism, structured pluralism means that we can roughly categorise a finite range of approaches (or schools of thought). These schools are communities, with shared understandings of the real world and of how best to build knowledge about it. As a socio-epistemic activity, therefore, economics has to be structured within groupings, and there is a logistical limit to how many schools can function effectively within the discipline. This limited range of schools helps us be methodological pluralists in the sense of allowing us to recognise and learn about other schools of thought than our own.Once gates and fences are erected they confine thought and reduce options. They inevitably lead to established viewpoints. See Paul Feuerabend, Against Method and Michael Polyani's Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy, for instance.
BTW, light posting this week due to PBS's broadcast of the Met's new production of Wagner's Ring Cycle at the time when I usually do my evening reading of the RSS feed. That gold ring of power that you know already know about through LOTR. It's a pervasive Western teaching story about the spiritual and moral trifecta of love, duty, and power.